The life of a football dad: becoming Switzerland

in sportstalk •  last month  (edited)

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The ones who do read and follow my blog, did already understand that there was enough real life drama in my life! All this drama was football related.
Some have asked which decision was made. You van find it out in this long post. Which was mainly written to get it out of system!

Let’s see what went on!
We do have this coach for the second year in a row! So we do know already that he is a special kind of person. For sure he lacks the education part or the way the communicate with kids, which is more than a nice to have in this role!
Last Saturday the competition did start. We did play against one of the best teams of the league and our team wasn’t complete, add to that that we only had one substitute and you can imagine that this resulted in more or less a walk over.
There are some things I do need to add to this, before I can explain the complete situation.
It looks like each year he has 1 or 2 players who are getting more or less blamed for everything. It don’t need to say that these kids don’t exactly run over of confidence. Besides that we do have some players who maybe don’t have the skills to play in a team on the level this team is playing. We as parents don’t have a problem with this!
At the end of last season, one of the dads did want to bring his kid to another club because he does have issues with the coach but his son didn’t want to because besides being a team, the kids are friends and a real close group. They do come up for each other!
Just as all the parents. We do cheer for all players and support them all. We do care about all of them.

Last Saturday

Well it appeared that the coach wasn’t in the best mood already before the game. No problem with that because we as parent sometimes do forget that they are also just human! But during the game he was yelling and screaming against the players from minute 1 to the end of the game. After the game, they had to stay on the pitch for another 10 minutes to be talked to by the coach. Talking isn’t actually the best word to describe it, if you do know what I mean.

Monday

Some kids didn’t show up at practice but all with a reasoning why they couldn’t. Then already we as dads did have a first meeting about the coach. We were all on the same line, but didn’t agree which steps had to be taken.
Monday evening I did got a message from one of the dads that he was going to speak with the coach after Tuesday’s practice.
During the evening I had lots of WhatsApp discussions with several dads. For sure with the dad one of them, where the son does have the feeling that he isn’t actually threated like the others. This is painful to hear. I always told myself that the moment my son, would have an issue with the coach and isn’t motivated anymore to go to practice that this would be the moment for me to take action.
Regardless of that I do have the opinion that the coach should drastically change his way of coaching the kids!

Tuesday

During practice there was a meeting with the dads which were present. One dad told that he was going to speak with the coach after the practice and was going to bring over the message that the coach had to step down or that he is forced to ask to club to let his son play from another team in the club! (Our team is with another team playing at the highest level possible for our club)
Another dad also indicated that he was going to talk to the coach about his son. Because I don’t want the situation in which kids would be punished, I did propose to go with more dads to the coach, in which they all agreed!
So after practice we did have this meeting. From the moment we did walk in the coach immediately jumped into defense mode. Starting the conversation that if we didn’t want him anymore as coach that we had to inform the club. What a welcome!
So dad 1, did his story asking him to step down, then I did my story that for me he could stay if he does start to motivate the kids again and does use positive coaching! As last another dad! (we were with 5, but like always in life some talk the talk and other walk the walk!).
The conclusion is that we would have a meeting with all parents and decided there which would be the following steps!

Wednesday

Lots of whatapps messages!

Thursday

During the whatsapp messages an time was set! When the meeting did start we were with 8 parents. 6 were in favor of informing the club that the coach had to be replaced. One was neutral. And I, naïve as I am, do believe the people do deserve a second chance! For me he could stay if he does change his behavior but that I would follow the majority!
2 parents did come late. One of them had the same opinion as I have, the other was in favor of the coach and told that her kids would stop playing football if the coach had to go.
We decided that it was time to inform the club about the situation in the team. This way we did gave an indication what was going on!
So the club was called and it was agreed that we would find a time and date to sit around the table with the club! But an half hour later the opportunity was there to have the discussion.
So everything was explained to the one responsible for the youth teams. After 30 minutes no decision was taken yet and I had to go. And I had to leave.
During my absence it became clear to the club, that not everybody has the opinion that he has to leave immediately but that he will get a second chance. But part of the solution was that a new team delegate had to be found. One which is mature enough, knows the game, is trusted by the coach, players and parents! And for sure one which has the nerves and guts to tell the coach when he is getting out of line! One which prevent situation in which we are now. You can call it a train the trainer! This person would not only support the players and the coach during the game, but will always be present in the dressing room when the coach and kids are in there!
According to all parents and the club only one person did fill in all the check boxes! Guess who!

I don’t want to do this! I just want to be a football dad! Nothing more, nothing less. But I am already an official delegate from the club. I do care about all the kids and parents. We did become pretty close friends during the last season! At the end of a day the only thing I want is to be able to see myself in the mirror and think that I did do the right things!

Friday

I did have discussion with the coach and with the one responsible for the youth teams. And I did set some requirements! For both the coach and the club!
The coach did have to agree that he will not make of fuss when I call him back to the line. I will be involved with his decision who is playing and on what position. I will however in the dressing room, when the coach and the players are there! I don’t want the coach in the dressing room after a game. This way he can cool down if needed and no confrontation is possible with the kids.
Also I do want to talk with the kids before next game without the coach, so that they can speak out!

Things were worse than I did write it down. I have been torn the complete week with mixed feelings. I do support all the kids and parents. I do think that the coach really has heart for the kids and does want to improve their playing style. But I also want to come up against injustice I see, which is coming from both sides. My son has no problems with the coach, but I personally have some! As written above. I also made this clear to him during the meeting on Tuesday!
I did decided to fill in this position, so that if it gets worse again, I can decrease the damage with the kids. That if it goes wrong again, that I can have a look at myself in the mirror knowing that I did everything possible to prevent this!
Do I believe that he can change. To be honest “No”! But I do feel that I am not in a position yet, which gives me the right to force him to step down. Like I told all parents, regardless of what decision they are taking this will no change my view on them. Everybody has to step up for his own kid, like a good parent would do!
I do know that I do have the support of the parent and probably also from the kids!
We will see how this evolves.

It is a nasty and unwanted situation. A situation which I always try to avoid in life, but sometimes you are dragged into it and you will have to be honest to yourself!

Cheers,
Peter

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Yeah my niece actually ended up quitting volleyball after the way she was treated by a few coaches.

Her mom tried to stand up, but since it was "the club team" in the area, the other moms and parents supported her in private talking to one coach, but when the time came left her standing high and dry.

I love sports, but this is the thing I hate most about them.

It indeed is! that's why I didn't want to some dads had private discussions with the coach about their kids!

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